Monday, February 13, 2006

Putting Economic Figures Into Perspective!

The Economist which cannot be suspected of propagating leftist views has a fascinating article on the measure of economic wealth in Europe and in the U.S.:
... a nation's well-being depends on many factors ignored by GDP, such as leisure time, income inequality and the quality of the environment.
The OECD's calculations suggest if people strongly dislike inequality, the gap between America and most other rich countries, which have a more equal distribution of income, should be greatly reduced. By this measure, adjusted income per head is higher in France than in America.
Longer holidays and shorter working hours increase an individual's well-being, yet conventional national accounts completely overlook such benefits. America is one of the world's richest countries, yet its workers toil longer hours than those elsewhere. As a result, adjusting GDP for leisure also narrows the gap between America and Europe.


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